With the technical and financial backstopping from AU-IBAR and within the framework of the VET-GOV programme, COMESA held a livestock forum in Port Louis, Mauritius on the 11-12th April 2017.
During the Forum, it was agreed to establish the Regional Livestock Policy Hub (RLPH) to provide effective and efficient animal health, production and trade services within the COMESA region.
The Forum was attended by participants from AU-IBAR, COMESA Secretariat, OIE, FAO, USAID, Tufts University and Regional Economic Communities(COMESA, EAC and IGAD) in addition to representatives from Comoros, Kenya, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Malawi, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe and participants from the Regional Farmers Organizations (EAFF, SACAU).
The forum was officially opened by H.E. Mr. Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, the Minister of Agro-Industry, Mauritius following remarks from Dr Mphumuzi Sukati, Senior Policy Officer, Economics, trade and Marketing on behalf of Professor Ahmed El-Sawalhy, the Director AU-IBAR and Mr. Thierry Mutombo Kalonji, Director of Industry and Agriculture, on behalf of COMESA Secretariat.
During the two-days meeting, the delegates critically reflected on potential responsibilities and contributions of the RLPH in the development of the livestock sector in the COMESA region taking into consideration; the role played by AU-IBAR in reinforcing veterinary governance in Africa for developing policies, strategies and legislation; the improved capacity of COMESA in terms of regional coordination and harmonization for the benefit of the livestock sector and the need for establishment of a regional livestock policy platform within the COMESA region that will operate as a network of stakeholders interested in and committed to improving the institutional environment at regional level to provide effective and efficient animal health and production services.
The Livestock Forum agreed on establishment of the RLPH as a livestock policy platform within the COMESA to be coordinated at the Directorate of Industry and Agriculture at COMESA, where the platform will be utilized by any additional livestock initiatives by AU-IBAR and partners in order to strengthen and sustain its operations.